How To Tell if There’s a Fossil Inside a Rock (Expert Tips!)

Share This Article With a Friend!

Key Points in Identifying Rocks That Contain Fossils

Let’s take a quick look at some of the key points you’ll need to know in order to identify fossil-bearing rocks.

  1. Know your rock types: Fossils are typically found in sedimentary rocks, such as limestone, sandstone, and shale. These rocks form from the accumulation of sediments and organic materials over millions of years. Igneous and metamorphic rocks, on the other hand, are less likely to contain fossils due to the extreme temperatures and pressures involved in their formation.
  2. Examine the rock’s surface: Fossils can often be identified by their distinct shapes and patterns on the rock’s surface. Look for outlines or impressions of shells, bones, or plant material. Keep an eye out for irregularities and unusual textures that might indicate the presence of a fossil.
  3. Look for the signs of a fossil’s presence: Fossils often leave traces of their existence in the form of fossil casts or molds. These can appear as small, round nodules or elongated shapes within the rock. They may also be marked by a difference in color or texture compared to the surrounding rock.

How to Know if a Rock Has a Fossil In It

I’ve been fascinated by fossil hunters who can walk out onto a gravel bar or a rocky beach, quickly scan the area and know which rocks contain fossils, and which rocks do not.

It’s like magic. How do they know!?

It makes me wonder how many rocks I’ve thrown or tossed aside that might have actually contained a complete crab fossil or a whole ammonite.

If you’re like me, then you’re in the right place. Today I’m exploring the fascinating world of fossils and taking a look at how to identify rocks that may contain these hidden treasures. What I’ve learned is that with the right knowledge and a keen eye, anyone can learn to point out these fossil containing rocks.

Mamlambo, a renowned fossil expert, has shared his insights on this captivating subject in a short, must-watch video on his YouTube channel, MamlamboFossils.

In this video he breaks down the process of identifying the types of rocks that contain fossils. And he does so by using an example of a rock he found that contains a crab fossil.

Watch The Videos Here

Then, in this next video, Mamlambo goes into more detail and further explanation of how he knows that a rock contains a fossil. In addition to this, he answers these three questions:

  • How did he know there was a crab inside the rock?
  • How did the crab get in the rock?
  • Why is it in such good condition?

As you set out on your fossil-hunting journey, remember that patience and persistence are key. With the right skills and knowledge, you’ll be well on your way to unearthing the secrets of Earth’s ancient past.

Don’t miss all of Mamlambo’s other informative and engaging fossil videos! You can find them here.

Share This Article With a Friend!

Limited Deal: 2 Months Free + Unlimited Library Access!
The Rock Seeker Rockhounding Club
  • Online rock and mineral club for collectors of all levels!
  • Find community with like-minded rock and mineral enthusiasts.
  • Monthly Giveaways!
  • Free Access to Entire Digital Library of Products (current and future products)*
Join Now!
*with annual membership.